Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fan Fiction: "The Rainbow at the End of the Bridge", Chapter 1



Disclaimer: I own nothing related to the Twilight Saga. These are Stephenie Meyer's characters, and no copyright infringement is intended, now, or at any time in the future, near or far.

This is my second Twilight tale. It suddenly came to me, the way stories sometimes do, wafting on the night breeze.

Edward finds Bella walking in a very dangerous part of town. He doesn't know her, but, as her scent overpowers him, so does an overwhelming urge to protect her, and get to know her better... (OOC, AU)

Chapter 1: Midnight Encounter


EPOV

The rain lashed her face, but she was past caring. She walked down the sidewalk, obviously oblivious to her surroundings. I wondered why. Even with my limited experience with human women, I knew they didn't usually take night promenades at a late hour - through one of the seediest neighborhoods in the city. Not, of course, unless that happened to be their profession. But this girl did not look the part. Far from it. She merely looked...lost. No, that wasn't it, exactly. She didn't look like she had no idea where she was - just that she didn't care. That was the first thing that drew me to her. The fact that she was not afraid at all, or perhaps, was beyond such fear. On the other hand, it wasn't like she was being in any way adventurous or brave. She was clearly not interested in walking on the wild side for the heck of it.

I suspected that something had happened to her, something that had caused her to behave this recklessly. Although I wasn't close enough to see her face, her listless movements were clear evidence of this. She had made me curious. Beyond mere curiosity, however, there was the elementary reality of her scent - the sweetest I had ever smelled. Not in all my years as a vampire had I encountered anything similar. Her scent drew me inexorably after her, and, in doing so, I went ever deeper into the night realm of the city, the land of the hopeless and the dying. I walked right by them, lying in the street, next to garbage dumps, most of them either passed out from drugs or alcohol, or merely resting for the night, if such sleep could be called rest. Their scent made me wrinkle my nose, and nearly obscured hers. And yet...I was easily able to detect it, following it unerringly along dilapidated streets strewn with refuse and the strangled dreams of so many lost lives. I could have taken any of them, had I chosen to. After all, I had abandoned Carlisle's utopian family, casting myself adrift, like a nomad vampire would. I had killed only one human since then. None of these derelicts even remotely tempted me, even though I was starting to feel thirsty. I was much more discriminating than that. Besides, I was having second thoughts about living according to my predatory nature. It had not been pleasant, after I had slaked my raging thirst, to be flooded with guilt and regret. The man whose life I took had murmured a woman's name, as he lay dying... Karen, I think he whispered... I had no idea whether she was his girlfriend or wife, or perhaps his sister. He would never see her again, thanks to me.

She stumbled, bringing my complete attention back to her. And I felt an impulse, or maybe I should call it a need, to make sure she didn't fall down, or hurt herself. I made sure to walk closer behind her, but not close enough that I would alarm her. She continued her dangerous little journey, not paying any attention to the stares and occasional drunken leers that came her way. I frowned. There was something very wrong with this human girl. She truly did not care about the potential danger that surrounded her at every turn. In spite of her intoxicating smell, and the thirst that was beginning to burn my throat, I felt that I had to watch her, in case someone accosted her. I don't know why I felt this need. It was nearly as strong as the need to take her blood. I was pulled along, following her everywhere she went. I turned left or right when she did so, and all the time I was observing myself, surprised at my behavior, because I finally reached the point at which her blood was less important to me than the urgent need to protect her...

She stumbled again, and this time she did fall down. I reacted without even a second thought. I was suddenly beside her, reaching down with both hands, to lift her up. She felt too limp in my hands. She looked up at me, and her eyes didn't seem to be focusing properly. I wondered whether she had overdosed on something.

I brought her up, gently, ever so gently, and all the while that incredible, beautiful, scent of hers washed over me, so powerfully I nearly took her then. But I couldn't, because suddenly her incredible eyes were on mine, and she had this wistful little smile on her face, as if she knew that she had come to the end of the road, and that just shook me.

She was mine for the taking. And so I decided to take her - with me. I felt as if I had no choice in the matter. Somehow, it seemed to be the right thing to do. I know how very trite that sounds. But that's just how things were, for me, at that point.

She smiled at me abruptly. "Hi," she whispered, and my non-existent heartbeat lurched, as I stared at her in wonder. That breathy whisper had touched me, sliding softly along every nerve ending. i stood in front of her, powerless to do anything but stare at her, as she stared back at me.

"So," she continued, in that same soft whisper, "are you in the habit of rescuing hopeless people?"

I stared at her, speechless for a few seconds. "Hopeless?" I repeated idiotically. I was still holding her arms, and my hands trembled - the feel of her skin on mine was arousing another kind of thirst.

"Yessss," she answered, smiling again. "You sure don't look like a rapist. So what else could you be doing? But you don't need to bother."

She looked down at my hands. "Let me go," she whispered, in a very sad voice. "I'm not even worth raping..."

I took my hands off her arms, and she glanced up, smiling her sad little smile, before she turned away to continue her walk.

Again I reacted without thinking. I reached out, and grabbed one of her arms.

"You shouldn't be walking alone in this area, at this time of night. You're risking not only rape, but certainly death, as well."

She shrugged. "No skin off your nose," she replied, indifferently.

Perhaps I had misjudged her. "Are you...a streetwalker?"

She laughed, and I eagerly drank in that laugh. It tinkled merrily, in stark contrast to her entire demeanor. I could have sworn that she momentarily turned into a different person. But it was only for a moment. Then she turned away again, gently, sadly, disengaging my hand from her arm. She was shaking her head.

I fell into step by slow step beside her. "Please," I pleaded, then stopped. Pleading? I was actually pleading with someone whose blood called to me so powerfully that it was all I could do to restrain myself from drinking her dry?

"Please come with me. I don't want to leave you alone. You'll end up as just another statistic in the evening news by tomorrow, if you stay in this part of town."

She shrugged delicately again, and kept on walking. I was forced to act. So, I simply picked her up in my arms. She didn't protest or struggle, as I had expected. Definitely something seriously wrong there.

It was all I could do to keep from doing the deed then. Her scent nearly caused me to lose control. But I managed to restrain myself, and began to walk away, carefully cradling her light weight.

"I'd put that broad down if I was you," a male voice threatened in the darkness.

I turned around slightly, and was not surprised to see three brawny young men behind me, brandishing knives.

I smiled my most dangerous smile. "You don't really want me to do that, now, do you? But...if you insist..." I growled, ending on a snarl. Then I slowly, lightly, set her on her feet, keeping one arm around her waist.

I unleashed the full force of my eyes on them, snarling again for good measure.

One of them, a tall, strapping guy, froze, his gaze locked with mine. The others hesitated, looking from me to him, then back to me. Their gazes locked with mine as well.

Slowly they lowered their knives. I snarled again, and took one step toward them, keeping the girl behind me. They suddenly turned tail and fled, scattering like leaves in the wind, their knives clattering to the ground.

Satisfied, I turned to this strange girl with the most wonderful scent in the world.

She stared at me, and her brows knit together in a puzzled frown. "Wow..." she whispered. "What the devil did you do to them?"

I chuckled - it was an eerie, dark sound. "Maybe I'm the devil himself," I replied, as my black eyes met her brilliant green ones.

She stared right back at me, without fear. "Well, if you're the devil, you're much toogood-looking. And just as I was about to kill myself, too..."

"Well," I said, smiling, "I'm sorry to have upset your plans. But you won't be doing that tonight. Or anytime soon, I would imagine."

With that, I picked her up in my arms again, and easily positioned her on my back.

"What are you doing?" she asked conversationally. "Rescuing you, just as you thought," I replied. "Rescuing the most beautiful woman in the world, whose name I do not yet have the pleasure of knowing."

I could almost feel her smiling, and it filled me with sudden delight. But she didn't answer right away.

Just when I thought she wasn't going to say it, I heard her whispery voice, next to my left ear.

"Bella," she said, making my ear tingle deliciously. Somehow I wasn't surprised. It was a lovely name for a lovely girl. In Italian, it meant "beautiful".

"Now hang on tight," I told her, just before pushing off into the night. I ran as I had not run in a very long time, af if my own life depended on it, which it obviously didn't.

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